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Irene Scharrer (1888 - 1971)

Irene Scharrer’s first piano teacher was her mother who had been a pupil of English pedagogue Tobias Matthay. Daughter Irene played for Matthay when she was six, and at the age of twelve she won a scholarship to study with him at the Royal Academy of Music in London. At her first Royal Academy student concert in 1901 Scharrer played Chopin’s Rondo in E flat Op. 16 ‘…with wonderful finish and very remarkable technical skill’.

Whilst still a student, Scharrer gave duo piano performances with her contemporary Myra Hess and in 1904 they performed Weber’s Aufforderung zum Tanz arranged for two pianos by Corder. They continued to perform on two pianos throughout both their careers, and Scharrer’s final performance was one of these duo recitals. It should be noted here that Scharrer and Hess were not cousins as is often erroneously stated.




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